This korma curry is a really soft and creamy curry, thanks to the cashews and coconut milk. It’s also mild in terms of spice so appeals to everyone, from children to adults.
I’ve adapted this recipe from those my mother and wife used to cook for me back in Sri Lanka. Normally we eat a lot of fish, so would only have a red meat curry like this a couple of times a month. But through feedback from our Tamil Feasts, we have found that people really enjoy this lamb version here in Australia – it usually ends up being the most popular dish of the night!
Ingredients (serves 4)
1kg lamb shoulder, diced
1 cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 dsp mustard seeds
200g raw cashews
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp curry powder
4 whole dried chillies
1 dsp harrissa
1 can coconut milk
½ bunch fresh coriander
2 tbsp tamarind juice
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a large stockpot, over a medium heat. Add the lamb, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods with some salt and cook until browned.
In a separate pot, heat vegetable oil and add the onion, garlic, tomato paste and all the spices and cook for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine tamarind juice, cashews and ½ cup water and allow to soak, squeeze together in your hand to extract the juice.
Add the tamarind liquid (not pulp) and coconut milk to the spice blend and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the fresh coriander. Blend all together using a stick blender.
Add the lamb to the sauce and cook over a low to medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
Season with salt to taste.
Why is Tamil Feasts so important?
By supporting Tamil Feasts the people of Melbourne and Australia show their support for asylum seekers and dissatisfaction with the current immigration policies. Furthermore, this initiative helps the men involved to be integrated into Australian society, to gain work experience, friendships and a sense of community in a country that they now call home.
‘Come along and enjoy a delicious feast, bring your friends, meet the guys and welcome them into the community! Sign up to volunteer and learn how to make the best curry in town,’ adds project coordinator Emma McCann. ‘Through food and sharing their stories, they are breaking down barriers.’
Run by not-for-profit CERES, Tamil Feasts are very popular and bookings are essential. Check out the website for more information.
Nirma and Niro from Tamil Feasts in the kitchen at The Merri Table, Melbourne. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.
A simple and tasty Tamil-style lamb curry. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli. Styling Assistant – Ashley Simonetto.
Nigethan’s lamb curry for one! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli. Styling Assistant – Ashley Simonetto.
Niro prepping the crowd-pleasing papadams. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.